Parnell / Newmarket

Suburb Specialists

Parnell is as old as Auckland itself, and its olde worlde charm is a vital part of its attraction. The small sections surrounding the tiny workers’ cottages meant that Parnell was never a contender for in-fill housing, so for decades the area was a scruffy home to students and artists. Now that being near the CBD is considered increasingly desirable, especially in an area full of historic homes, the cheap rentals have gone and the well-heeled professionals have moved in, lock, stock and BMW. Parnell and Newmarket both benefit from being next-door to the beautiful 75-hectare Auckland Domain. Newmarket is an enormous commercial and retail area, with housing very much an after-thought. With wall-to-wall fashion boutiques, cafés and movies, Newmarket’s Broadway has usurped Queen St in the CBD as the place to shop and party.

Who Lives There?

Parnell is Auckland’s Beverly Hills. Residents tend to be wealthy socialites, surgeons, financiers and property developers. Martini-toting Parnell Girls and their Prada bags are in evidence at the bars of Parnell Rise most nights of the week (46 & York, Woodpecker Hill and Pineapple are the current bars de jour). The suburb has also long been an established centre for the artistic intelligentsia (literati meets the glitterati) and – as with Ponsonby and other inner city suburbs – many residents can be reasonably categorised as bobo, or bourgeois bohemians. Artists and writers may live in Parnell, but they’re definitely not the starving in a garret types. There are many old Auckland families in Parnell, who have lived here for generations, and many families with secondary school-age children – it’s in-zone for Auckland Grammar and Epsom Girls’ Grammar and close to many private schools. The many luxury townhouses and apartments are popular with affluent empty-nesters – older couples whose children have left home. Going by the quality of these properties, the nests may be empty but they are well-feathered. Buyers in Parnell are mainly Europeans. By comparison, Newmarket is a cosmopolitan professional area favoured particularly by Asian migrants and business people wanting to live close to their offices and the shopping.

Typical Homes

Parnell boasts some of Auckland’s grandest old homes, including turn-of-the-20th-century villas and bungalows. Modern architecture has also made its mark here, with sleek townhouses tucked behind older houses and many apartments, from designer studios to luxury abodes. Although many of the sections are small and neighbouring houses are only a stone’s throw away, Parnell oozes atmosphere with spectacular sea views of Rangitoto Island and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. While Newmarket has fewer houses than Parnell, there are some 1840s workers’ cottages in the area. These tend to be too small for family living, but attractive for singles and childless professional couples. Broadway Park, with its arrangement of terrace homes, duplexes and mid to high-rise apartments also serves this sector.

Population Profile


Aged Under 15 Years 10.70%
Aged Over 65 Years 8.56%
European 71.26%
Maori 4.30%
Pacific Peoples 1.85%
Asian 10.85%

VIEW HOMES FOR SALE IN Parnell / Newmarket